The Stina Fire received additional moisture yesterday that is prompting a change in suppression tactics. Prior to the rain, the suppression tactic was an indirect strategy of using road systems and dozer lines to burn off of to secure containment lines. The strategy was in place as a safer way to control the fire due to the erratic fire behavior, thus not putting fire crews directly adjacent to the fire.
Although the area has received light to moderate precipitation and smoke might not be visible in the air, the risk of fire is still present. Fires in heavy mixed conifer can lay down and wait out rain and moisture, only to reemerge once the fuels dry out.Forecasters predict a drying trend through the weekend which could rejuvenate the fire.
The Cat Fire continues to spread slowly to the southeast, creeping along the forest floor and occasionally flaming up in areas where there are dense pockets of unburned fuel.
“The fire is creating a mosaic of burned and unburned patches within the wilderness,” said North Kaibab District Ranger Randall Walker. “It’s doing what fire has naturally done here, enhancing the wilderness character and creating a diverse landscape.”
Total of 102 personnel including two hotshot crews, nine engines, and two water tenders
Weather conditions were favorable for burnout operations across the Stina Fire yesterday. Burnout operations occurred across three flanks yesterday, with the northeast flank having the most activity along a 1.5-mile stretch of fireline.
“We made big strides in securing the northeast edge of the fire yesterday,” said Incident Commander Trainee Dave Veater. Crews also started conducting burnout operations on the eastern and southern flank of the fire.
Two 20-person hotshot crews and one 20-person Type-two hand crew
Central West Zone Type 3 Team, continues to manage the Cat Fire with full suppression tactics. Fire management decisions are determined with consideration of firefighter safety, location of the fire, available resources, regional and national preparedness levels, and weather forecast.
Maintaining the integrity of cultural and natural resources within the Saddle Mountain Wilderness is a key management objective. “While we are concerned about these valuable resources, our most important resource is people,” said Incident Commander Rob Williams.
Central West Zone Type 3 Team, under the command of Rob Williams, took over the management of the Cat Fire at 6 a.m. today. The new team will continue suppression efforts started by previous fire crews on scene. They will also assess the current fire status and develop appropriate management strategies to address the challenges of maintaining firefighter safety while fighting fire within the rugged terrain of Saddle Mountain Wilderness.
Date reported: August 6, 2018
Size: 2,387 acres
Active fire behavior was seen on the Cat Fire today, resulting in the consumption of an estimated 800 acres. Fire spread mainly downslope to the east and south predominately in ponderosa and pinyon-juniper fuel types.
Date reported: August 6, 2018
Size: 2,118 acres
Location: The Cat Fire is about 25 miles southeast of Jacob Lake in the Saddle Mountain Wilderness on the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest.
A slight increase in moisture and monsoon activity on the Cat and Stina Fires occurred yesterday and is expected today as well. This is a blessing and a curse for firefighters. Incident Commander Mike Uebel notes that moisture can moderate fire behavior, but strong downdrafts can make for erratic fire behavior and fire movement on areas of the fires not receiving moisture.
As fire behavior progresses, the Cat Fire-Stina Fire Incident Commander Mike Uebel stresses the need for public and firefighter safety.
North Zone fire managers plan to continue pile burning activity in the vicinity of the North Rim Developed Area, which consists of two, 16-acre units of hand piles. Pending favorable weather conditions, ignitions could begin as early as next week. As a reminder, the North Rim and Arizona Highway 67 are closed for the season and will re-open this spring.